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on 28 August 2015
Live Forza's from the 1950's seem to be dominated by the twin peaks that are Mitropolous in 1953 (Verdi: La Forza Del Destino) and the film from 1958 with Molinari-Pradelli conducting (La Forza Del Destino: Teatro Di San Carlo (Molinari-Pradelli) [DVD] [1958]). Common to both are Renate Tebaldi; for Mitropoulos in Florence she is in stunning form - one can quite easily understand why Toscanini called her his "voce d'angelo" when listening to this. Her Alvaro in this performance is one Mario de Monaco; in 1958 it is Franco Corelli, both on inspired form and their best behaviour. Bastianini, Christoff, Capecchi and Dominguez make up the remainder of the team from Naples in 1958, whilst Protti, Siepi, Capecchi and Barbieri take on the other major roles for Mitopoulos. Once can weep that such riches can barely be assembled today and I'm sure all Forza Fanatics have both in their collections. However, another live performance, this time from 1957 La Scala, finds a very different but equally thrilling reading that demands our attention as well. The cast - Leyla Gencer, Giuseppe Di Stefano, Aldo Protti, Cesare Siepi - may not especially stand out amongst the glories available elsewhere from this time, although don't get me wrong, it's still damn good. Likewise the conductor, Antonino Votto, for whom I have less fond memories of with Callas' Boheme (Puccini: La Boheme) and a live Nilsson Turandot (Turandot), would certainly not be attracting my attention, unless a wise friend of mine insisted that I should listen to this set. And it is for the conductor that you should as well, for he really shapes the entire evening into something memorable; without being overly interventionalist, he produces the most profound reading of all, making this set a rare, even heartfelt experiece, combining deep inwardness with unbridled passion and showing how Verdi's rich, haunted score was meant to embrace both extremes; it is an astonishing achievement and sets this recording out from the crowd, with only Sinopoli's equally different (but interventionalist) reading joining him in uniqueness. Unlike the later DG recording though, this does have a very distinguished cast, di Stefano coping remarkably well in a role that was almost certainly a size too big for him, with the criminally under-recorded Leyla Gencer giving a rapt and tender interpretation, in spite of some occasional lapses in pitch. Protti may not be ones ideal Carlo, but we'd kill to hear his like today, whilst Siepi is magisterial as Guardiano. The sound is very good for it's time, the usual cuts are observed and ensemble can be a bit ragged at times, but this is a most wonderful reading, captured in decent sound. Okay, maybe it doesn't match the electricity of Mitropous in 1953, nor perhaps the thrill of seeing these legends live from Naples in 1958, but this is one recorded performance that mustn't be overlooked.
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on 16 July 2014
Meanwhile they have changed the photograph and descrition of the former presented La Forza Del Destino so that my comment has no value any more. Unfortunately, I can't cancel it (or I don't know how to do so...)

Obviously only one person here reviews the recording of which you see the cover. All the other describe completely different artists and give therefore very good ratings which is very misleading.

The recording here with Bruno Walter is not at all recommendable because of its really bad sound which disturbs the whole opera.

Only for hardcore fans!
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on 4 December 2016
This live recording exceeded my expectations and I absolutely love it.
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